Lanett High School hosts career fair for all grades

Published 10:30 am Saturday, February 25, 2023

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As Career and Technical Education Month begins to wrap up, Lanett High School and Junior High hosted a career fair with over 30 businesses.

Students walked throughout the gymnasium learning about the benefits and qualifications required of different companies and career paths.

Students of all grades attended the fair which was organized by CTE Director Hilda Carlisle, Counselor YaShika Odom and the Chambers County Development Authority.

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“We’ve invited different companies and businesses and individual business owners to come to the career fair, and have a table set up so that the students can walk through and ask questions about their different career paths,” Carlisle said. So we tried to have career paths from all of the 16 career clusters.”

Thirty-five businesses signed up to be a part of the career fair, representing most of the 16 career clusters in Lanett’s CTE program. Some of the career pathways represented were the food industry, manufacturing, marketing, information technology, tourism and hospitality and healthcare. 

Many of the representatives who attended the fair were Lanett High School alumni including Chicago Bears Equipment Manager Cameron Reed and Optometrist Dr. Lakesha Story. 

Reed, from Lanett, started the Reed Foundation in January 2021 after a successful career working for the Chicago Bears. The foundation provides programs and events to serve the youth and older citizens of the community, such as scholarships and leadership seminars. 

Story, who graduated from Lanett High in 2000, loves returning to her former school. 

“This is home for me,” Story said. “So I just love coming back, you know, giving back to the community, and just being a representation to let them know that it can be done, especially in terms of the profession.”

After graduating from Lanett, Story attended UAB for her bachelor’s degree. It was there that she learned to enjoy optometry as a student worker. She and her twin sister went on to become doctors. Now, they own a private optometry practice in Midland, Georgia. 

“Being a doctor, I know sometimes, a lot of students, a lot of my peers, were discouraged on what they can do and what they cannot do,” Story said. 

Story was glad to come back to Lanett High because she hopes to be a positive example for what others can achieve.

“It can be done. You can decide whatever career path you want to do. Whatever you do, once you put your mind to it, just keep reaching for your dreams,” Story said. 

Representatives from Knauf Insulation, BeeTV, Alabama Extension, Lanett Welcome Center, Back Porch Salon, Lanett High School, Alabama Power, West Point Corps of Engineers and more attended.

“We’re thankful that all the businesses showed up,” Carlisle said.

Representatives from different branches of the military and universities like Tuskegee University and Southern Union also had booths. 

“We’re just opening up the doors for them to have that opportunity to make those career choices,” Carlisle said. “And our goal, once they leave Lanett High School, is to have them college and or career ready.”

Lanett High School has also started a new CTE pathway called Health Science. In these courses, students interested in going into the patient care field can gain a headstart with background knowledge and a patient care technician certification.